Some good background on Melchizedek


JST Genesis 14:25-40 gives a lot of details that help give background and understanding to what I’m learning about Abraham and his covenant. There is so much about Melchizedek that I learn and then forget, learn and then forget. I’m hoping by posting this here I will be forced to at least remember this exists! 🙂

[I’m working on this little by little]

And Melchizedek lifted up his voice and blessed Abram. Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire. And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch,

Why “after the order of the covenant”?

It being after the order of the Son of God;

Being after? Is the same thing? Does the order of the Son of God come first, and this being ordained “after the order of the covenant” comes within that?

which order came, not by man, nor the will of man; neither by father nor mother; neither by beginning of days nor end of years; but of God; And it was delivered unto men by the calling of his own voice, according to his own will, unto as many as believed on his name. 

I like that description: God sought out people to give this order to.

For God having sworn unto Enoch and unto his seed with an oath by himself; that every one being ordained after this order and calling should have power, by faith, to break mountains, to divide the seas, to dry up waters, to turn them out of their course;  To put at defiance the armies of nations, to divide the earth, to break every band, to stand in the presence of God; to do all things according to his will, according to his command, subdue principalities and powers; and this by the will of the Son of God which was from before the foundation of the world. 

First, I have to note that this sounds like the “sealing power” that we read of elsewhere in scripture, especially in Enoch’s story. (Interesting to me is that “to stand in the presence of God” is just put into the middle there! Or perhaps not in the middle, depending on how it was punctuated, perhaps. But still amid the list of things that seem to be a bit unrelated! So, one of my questions is: How are they related?) When we get to the words “to do all things…” it reminds me of “the law” explained in D&C 132.

And men having this faith, coming up unto this order of God, were translated and taken up into heaven.

How many people did this happen to? And their wives as well, I assume? “Coming up unto this order” – I thought being of this order meant you preached and called others to repentance. Were they translated at the end of their lives? Did they receive a heavenly experience that then prepared them to teach? Does this imply that Melchizedek was translated? That one I have an answer for. 🙂 Or rather, the rest of this JST passage does:

 And now, Melchizedek was a priest of this order; therefore he obtained peace in Salem, and was called the Prince of peace. 

Abraham (in Abraham 1) says he wants to be “a prince of peace.” Was he thinking about Melchizedek when he said that?

And his people wrought righteousness, and obtained heaven, and sought for the city of Enoch which God had before taken, separating it from the earth, having reserved it unto the latter days, or the end of the world; 

I don’t know that we get this detail in any other part of scripture, do we? Melchizedek’s city went to heaven, too?? He was such a great high priest then because he actually accomplished what the priesthood is meant to do – to bring people back into God’s presence as soon as possible! And what an interesting situation (similar to Enoch I guess) – he started with a city that was wicked, and turned it into Zion. I guess Enoch did about the same thing, though, didn’t he?

And hath said, and sworn with an oath, that the heavens and the earth should come together; 

Is this part of the oath I’ve been looking for? That heaven and earth come together?

and the sons of God should be tried so as by fire. And this Melchizedek, having thus established righteousness, was called the king of heaven by his people, or, in other words, the King of peace. 

Peace and heaven go together? What about Abraham 1:2, then? “And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me.” Perhaps we could see this as he met Melchizedek and saw what could be had, and so he sought to have it too?

I’m also starting to wonder if the reason that Abraham sought these blessings is because Melchizedek obtained heaven and a new holder of these blessing was needed?

And he lifted up his voice, and he blessed Abram, being the high priest, and the keeper of the storehouse of God; Him whom God had appointed to receive tithes for the poor. Wherefore, Abram paid unto him tithes of all that he had, of all the riches which he possessed, which God had given him more than that which he had need.

This sounds a lot like D&C 42. I know that in Zion (especially Enoch’s story) there were no poor, but I hadn’t thought about there being a storehouse until I read this.

Joe reminded me that it’s worth seeing which revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants were received during the time Joseph Smith was working on the JST project. I’m going to do some research soon – that will be a fascinating study!

 And it came to pass, that God blessed Abram, and gave unto him riches, and honor, and lands for an everlasting possession; according to the covenant which he had made, and according to the blessing wherewith Melchizedek had blessed him

I’m not sure what more to point out, just that Abram was blessed with even more, apparently? And this lands business is so interesting. Land because he wasn’t going to be translated? Land because his job was to get a group together in order to be translated? Some of both – a future group to be translated?

Also, I love the implication that God honored Melchizedek’s blessing. Of course that would be in line with God’s will, but still – the way it is written here, God honors his own promises in the covenant he made, and he honors what the blessing said. Perhaps especially because Melchizedek had the sealing power, and whatever he said and made a faithful record of, became a law on earth and in heaven? (D&C 128) Whatever the implication, I like the way it is said. 🙂

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